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 Competition Shooting and Reloading
 factory primed brass???
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Advanced Member

6465 Posts

Posted - 03/24/2018 :  1:05:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Friend gave me about 10 boxes of older white box Winchester factory primed 222 brass. Do I need to have any special concern for loading them in terms of what the primer is, or can I just assume that most all of the small rifle primers are close enough to the same? Not sure what recipe I'm going to use in the 50 -55 grain area, so any suggestions would be appreciated also..Thanks.

Senior Member

1006 Posts

Posted - 03/24/2018 :  2:21:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
When you say "older" that raises one concern and that is how the boxes were stored. If they were kept in a cool dry area the Winchester small rifle primer that is the WW factory default primer for the .222 should be fine. I have been loading and shooting the triple deuce for about 50 years, now and find that my SAKO L46 prefers loads with the small rifle magnum primer, usually CCI. The longer/hotter flame tends to ignite the charge, especially ball powder, more evenly - at least the groups are better.

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Advanced Member

5840 Posts

Posted - 03/24/2018 :  3:43:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'd test a few to make sure the primers are still good - storage conditions are everything. Light inside neck champfer. Your first loading is fire forming, and I wouldn't expect top accuracy. I would then de-prime, flash hole de-burr/uniform, trim to uniform length and then champfer inside and out. Neck size only if you can - the chamber will determine this. 55 gr and less should work fine.
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10115 Posts

Posted - 03/25/2018 :  09:33:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

...or can I just assume that most all of the small rifle primers are close enough to the same?

Assumptions can be the bane of any endeavor, reloading is no different. Switching primers has always been one of the factors used when trying to determine the most accurate load. So assuming that all small rifle primers are 'close' can be fallacious. Since we don't know which primer Winchester used in this batch you essentially have a small batch test only because you will not get that same primer for replacement after the load has been developed.

Work on producing the best load possible using the fewest number of cases, then go shoot. Clean the brass and prep then start the process over with primers of your own choosing.

Enjoy the process!


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Advanced Member

11064 Posts

Posted - 03/25/2018 :  10:39:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If the cases have been stored in such a way that the brass isn't tarnished badly, the primers are likely serviceable BUT changing primer type/brand requires "starting over or reducing" the load unless you're already using a starting load. 200 cases might be worth doing another load workup.

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Senior Member

1781 Posts

Posted - 03/26/2018 :  08:24:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I did not read all of this thread, but from experience about OLD primers that you do not know how they have been stored., a guy gave me several boxes of old primers (still in their boxes few years ago and I reloaded with them and some would snap, and they seemed to only snap right when I was pulling the trigger and aiming at a big buck deer.

They would never snap when aiming at little bitty deer.
About 10 out of a 100 count would snap.
I had to use the old primers and reloads for shooting at paper and reload my hunting ammo with new products.

I store my primers inside in a controlled environment, in a sealed zip lock bag and couple of small silca gel packets inside the zip loc bag. (the saved silca gel packets come from shoes boxes, etc and I place the packets in a oven at about 170 degree heat every few years to drive out the moisture) Also seal my black powder and Pydrodex powder and pellets same way and don't have any problems with weak powder.

Edited by - Okie743 on 03/26/2018 08:29:41 AM
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